WASHINGTON --U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood acknowledged today that some automakers’ recalls for safety defects are never learned about by consumers, possibly leaving a number of unsafe vehicles on the road.
“I’d admit that there’s a disconnect sometimes between when people are given information and whether it’s taken seriously,” LaHood told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “I think that’s an issue. Not everyone is taking their car back.”
Automakers, including Toyota Motor Corp., have recalled 23 million U.S. vehicles in the last three years for safety defects, he said.
LaHood agreed today to look into lawmakers’ request for the percentage of these recalled U.S. vehicles that were actually brought in for repair by consumers.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the ranking Republican on the committee, said that the information would enable lawmakers “to evaluate if more advertising” or other federal and corporate communication is needed.
Rep. Brian Bilbray, another California Republican, said that he himself wasn’t aware of Toyota’s 2007 recall of 55,000 Camrys and Lexuses for unintended acceleration linked to interference from all-weather floor mats.